The School of Education were very pleased to have several exciting children’s authors presenting at their recent ‘Reading for Pleasure ‘conference for Primary teacher education students.
The conference is part of the Children’s Literature module, which has been developed in response to a considerable body of research that shows that teachers who are enthusiastic and committed readers, make a significant difference to children’s desire to read for pleasure. Reading for pleasure has a major focus in the new national curriculum being introduced in September 2014 and the aim is that Brookes teaching students are knowledgeable, enthusiastic and committed readers of children’s books.
David Fickling, an independent publisher who set up and runs David Fickling books came along with some of his published authors.
Simon Mason, author of The Quigleys series about a spirited and lovable family, and shortlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize for his children’s novel Moon Pie talked about his writing of children’s fiction. As author of The Rough Guide to Classic Novels he also inspired the students’ reading beyond children’s books.
Andy Mulligan author of the Ribblestrop series, Trash and The Boy with Two Heads talked about the making of his book Trash into a film. Stephen Daldry is currently in Rio directing Richard Curtis’ treatment of the book which will feature a starry cast of actors. The film will be premiered in Spring 2014 and was of particular interest to the students as they had studied Trash as part of their Children’s Literature module.
Tom Fickling talked about The Phoenix a comic for children and its role in encouraging children to read for pleasure. The Phoenix, a weekly comic, is filled with original artwork, exciting stories and features no advertising.
Everyone, staff and students, had a really inspiring morning. We all left with lots of inspiring suggestions for books we wanted to read and lots of enthusiasm for giving children the experience of meeting and talking to real authors. One student said, “This is the best morning we have ever had at university.” We were really lucky that David Fickling and some of his authors gave their time so generously to support our students. Ann Disney, Senior Lecturer in English, Primary Education